Soup offers lots of health benefits. It is easy to prepare and it’s your ideal comfort food on a chilly day. You can make soup from a variety of ingredients giving you a nutritious meal thanks to the veggies, fruits, and spices used in the soup.
The healthiest soups are broth-based and are chosen from low-fat ingredients with little salt. You can also have cream-based soup with fresh vegetables or even make soup from leftovers.
Soup is a great meal to add to the table whether for breakfast, lunch, as a snack, or dinner. Some of the health benefits associated with soup includes:
Soup is a Low-Calorie Option
Soups combine a low-energy density with a high-nutrient density. This is more so for vegetable-based soups as they have few calories but are packed with all the necessary nutrients and minerals. Compared to the high-energy, high-calorie but low-nutrients foods like fast foods and energy drinks, soup is far much better to have.
If you don’t like the taste of raw vegetables in salads, soup will enable you to take the same salads but well-cooked with the additional herbs to make a flavourful bowl. It saves you from being tolerant of the foods you don’t like as you can easily mix them up without having to taste them in your food.
Soup helps in Losing Weight
A study by the British Journal of Nutrition indicates that people who eat soup are healthier and they tend to have smaller waists and even weigh less than people who do not eat soup. In other researches, soup has been seen to improve satiety. This means that soup improves the feeling of being full at the end of each meal.
It helps in consuming a smaller portion and that you are going to take long before you fill hungry. As such, you will consume fewer calories and be on a path to losing the excess weight or maintaining your current weight.
When taking soup as a meal to help you lose weight, you will need to choose your ingredients wisely. A popular way of doing this; is to imagine all the nutrients you will need for a meal and then conjure the ingredients that will make that particular soup.
You can add protein like salmon, chicken, or natural yoghurt to get your portion of protein. Protein foods also keep you full for longer because they take long before being digested. Beans and other grains are also quite satiating for vegetarians or if you don’t like meat products in your soup.
It is believed that food and water taken separately is treated as such by the body. That is, food satisfies hunger and water satisfies thirst.
But if the same amount of food is mixed with water to make soup, the body treats it as food. This means that you will be full for an extended time and you will not snack or compensate later in the day.
By repeating healthy habits like taking soup as a meal, you will be on your way to better health and a good looking body in no time.
Soup can Boost your Immune System
A healthy immune system has a balance of nutrients not only from Vitamin C. While we can take all the cautious actions like washing fruits and vegetables and washing our hands more frequently, there’s only so much you can do in the flu season.
This is because the frigid months allow germs to survive longer because our indoors tend to be poorly ventilated during such times. And since it is colder outside, you have to be indoors longer which leaves you more susceptible to catching a cold no matter how well you bundle up.
Eating more immunity-boosting soups goes a long way in providing natural immunity for the body. Medicinal soups have been around since time immemorial. Chicken soup, for example, is associated with easing the symptoms of a cold in the Jewish culture while Mexicans believe in vegetable soups for high cholesterol control.
Cabbage soups can help prevent infections, while sweet potatoes provide beta-carotene for healthy eye growth. Also, seaweed is known to cleanse the body.
When you combine such ingredients you will receive the anti-inflammatory effects of soup.
It does not contain inflammatory products like sugar, white rice, and white flour. As such, it works to protect your cells and improve the symptoms of common infections.
It’s clear that soup comes with lots of immunity-boosting aspects. Eating healthy soup all-year will prepare you for the cold weather and you are more likely to come out of winter without a cold.
Soup is Low in Fat
Most soups are low in fat because their protein sources are from lean meat. If you are concerned about the amount of fat in your diet, the only way to be in control is by the ingredients you throw in the soup. Instead of using milk and cream, you can just use broth as the base. Also, pureed white beans can thicken the soup instead of sour cream.
For a very low-fat content of fat, skimming the fatty layer is advisable when the soup gets cold. After you reheat the soup, it will still retain the flavour but with less fat in it.
Soups get More Vegetables in your Diet
Getting the right portion of vegetables and fruits on a daily basis is tricky. This is usually the case if you don’t track what you eat or you are a picky eater. You may find yourself missing the proper nutrients that your body needs. That’s where soup comes in handy.
Just chop up veggies, put in the broth that is of course low fat and put the ingredients in a slow cooker. You can forget about the pot until later in the day when you need to snack on something and your soup will be ready for eating. It will not only save you from unhealthy snacking, but it also allows you to fill up on your vegetable servings in a day.
Soup is Hydrating
Apart from plain water, herbal teas, fruit juices, and sports drinks, soup is another hydrating drink. Soup broth contains salt which prevents water loss, and it is also carbohydrate-rich for a boost of energy. A piping hot bowl of soup just before your workout in winter is a great way to up your fluid intake.
Hydration keeps you in peak performance especially if you are a pro athlete. You can choose the ingredients you want in your soup to fulfil the needs you want for your particular sport. If you sweat a lot, you will need soup with a high amount of broth or water and salt to prevent further water loss.
When you look at what is contained in most sports drinks, you will find a combination of carbohydrates and electrolytes. The main electrolyte is sodium, and it is also found in electrolyte replacement powders and tablets.
Soups have high levels of sodium which will work much like the sports drink. They are best when taken before or after a workout to facilitate healing and high energy levels.
Soup may not always be the first drink that athletes choose when building endurance, but it is a good addition when training for a competition.
Soups based on zucchini, celery, and radishes are high in water. They can be good picks for the summer. Also, cold varieties like watermelon soup are also great in summer’s heat. For the fall and winter season, chicken-noodle soup and lentil soup will keep you warm while providing the ideal amount of fluids you should take in a day.
Beyond using soup as an athlete, chilled soups are a great way to stay hydrated in summer. They are a refreshing start to any meal as they capture the flavours of the season.
Soup is Easily Digested
The process of cooking food is known to be a pre-digestion stage. This is because it destroys microbes and also makes the food softer. If you are ill or your digestive system has weakened over time. Eating soup will be great on your stomach as it settles easily more so if you use ginger which helps with digestion.
For those who may be having a bad day from having an upset stomach, soup can make you feel much better. For example, chicken soup with shiitake mushrooms and ginger soothes the stomach. You will not need to skip a work day if you over-indulged in your favourite comfort food when you take soup in the morning.
Soup Keeps your Skin Supple
When the aging lines start to show, the first thing we think is buying the best skin product on the market. But you can naturally slow down the aging process by eating the right foods. Most of the broth in our soups comes from bones. Not many people can enjoy sipping a glass of bone broth but we do love it in our soups.
As such, you can get your collagen intake up just by choosing chicken, turkey, or beef broth in your soup.
Soups don’t just comfort us; they come with lots of nutritious benefits. They can control your cholesterol levels, help you when you are under the weather, and even pack in those vegetables. It feels good to sit around a fire and enjoy a bowl of soup. With all the benefits that soup has, you better start eating more of it every day.